Curiously, new Marvel series Hawkeye isn’t just about one Hawkeye – because Jeremy Renner’s Avengers archer is joined by a young protégé throughout the Disney Plus adventure, who also goes by Hawkeye in the comics (after the older hero granted her use of the title).
Real name Kate Bishop, this young hero is played by Hailee Steinfeld in the new six-part streaming series – and even before Hawkeye hits television screens, it seems like Marvel is already making plans for Kate’s future.
“You sort of come out of [the finale] with a full introduction to this new character in Kate Bishop,” series director Rhys Thomas told RadioTimes.com.
“And I think the exciting thing is sort of, you know, thinking about where that character can go.”
Steinfeld herself wouldn’t be drawn on her character’s future when asked if she’d be up for coming back for a second season, or a separate Marvel appearance elsewhere – but she certainly seemed fairly attached to her new role.
“Oh my God. I mean, yeah, I just feel so lucky to have been able to spend this time with this character,” she told us.
“And you know, discovering who she is, and being a part of that discovery, and a part of bringing her to life. So yeah, I've had the best time doing this. And it's been really great.”
Fans have noted in recent releases that Marvel seems to be grooming a kind of “next generation” of heroes, with the introduction of another Black Widow (Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova, set to cameo in Hawkeye later in the series), Bishop’s new Hawkeye and the Iron Man-like Ironheart (aka Riri Williams, played by Dominique Thorne) set to appear in her own Disney Plus series down the line.
Add to that roster Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson), the grandson of super-soldier Isaiah Bradley introduced in The Falcon in the Winter Soldier (and a Captain America-like hero in the comics), Ant-Man’s daughter Cassie Lang and the super-powered fake children of Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision, and you’ve essentially assembled the Young Avengers, a team of teenage heroes that included several of these characters in the comics.
So who knows? Maybe Kate Bishop’s future is in some kind of Young Avengers team-up bubbling away in the background. Maybe Thomas was just hinting at a Hawkeye season two, or maybe a spin-off series of her own (there is a run on the Hawkeye comics starring her as the main character while she lived in LA).
Either way, it sounds like fans may be seeing a lot more of this new Hawkeye in the coming months and years. Hailee Steinfeld, take a bow.
Hawkeye episodes one and two stream on Disney Plus from Wednesday 24th November, with new episodes weekly afterwards. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 for a year now.